(UPDATE) Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday joined the nation in mourning former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, describing her partymate as someone who "tried to do what is right, even when it was not popular".
"Tahimik at walang pagod siyang nagtrabaho para makatulong sa marami. He will be missed," she said, extending her condolences to the Aquino family.
In a live address that aired on Facebook, Robredo went on to recall particular traits of her partyhead predecessor in the Liberal Party: how he always carried a copy of the constitution around with him and how like his father, assasinated Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr, PNoy believed "the Filipino is worth dying for".
"Sinasagisag ng mga detalyeng ito ang diwa ng kanyang pagkapangulo. Patas ang tingin ni Pnoy sa lahat sa ilalim ng batas. Tapat at may paninindigan siya sa tama at makatarungan. He was courageous in facing down the systemic ills of society, in dismantling long-entrenched systems of corruption, in standing up for the country in the international stage," she added, noting he did all these despite being reluctant to run at first.
Robredo went further and remembered Aquino as big boss and "friend" of her late husband, Jesse Robredo. The latter was Aquino's interior and local government secretary until his passing from a plane crash.
"PNoy was a kind and steadying presence in the days after my late husband's plane crash. Alam kong pareho kaming nagluluksa noon--nawalan at ako ng asawa at siya ng kaibigan," she shared, noting that Aquino made sure her and her daughters' needs were taken care of.
Robredo is chairperson of the Liberal Party, whose membership has dwindled since Aquino stepped down from power in 2016. The former president has since kept a very low profile.
Describing Aquino as a man of both kindness and toughness, Robredo said "no amount of historical distortion can change the truth: that every decision he made was oriented towards the betterment of the Filipino people".
"Hanggang sa dulo, naniwala si Pnoy sa kabutihan ng Pilipino. And this faith inspired governance, that pursued institutional reforms, that uplifted many lives," she added.
Liberal Party: 'Daang Matuwid' to live on
The Liberal Party, where Aquino served as chairman emeritus, also expressed deep sadness over the former president's passing.
"With his passing, the country lost one of the finest examples of what a President should be: Someone whose integrity cannot be questioned, who had foresight and will, who never stole, whose actions aligned with his words," the party said.
The LP remembered their leader as someone who was "hard on corruption but inclusive in empowering the people," adding that the former president didn't favor any district or province even as the party's membership grew during his term.
Mabuting tao si PNoy, at pinabuti ni PNoy ang buhay ng Pilipino. Mahusay at dakila siyang pinuno. Napakarami niyang natulungan. Ibinigay niya ang lahat para mapaglingkuran tayo," the party said."
Magpapahinga na si PNoy sa kaniyang biyahe, pero tuloy pa rin, palagi, ang Daang Matuwid," it added.
The LP is eyeing Robredo, among others, as its standard bearer in next year's elections.
Watch the full address: